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Tracking the Blues

For eight years,Shillong-based band Soulmate has been India’s best known Blues voice.

Written by Pallavi Jassi |
June 11, 2009 1:37:10 am

For eight years,Shillong-based band Soulmate has been India’s best known Blues voice. In 2007,they were the first and the only Indian representation at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis,Tennessee,USA. Now,four years after their debut album,Soulmate is ready with their new offering — Moving On that releases today.

“Even though it has a following throughout the country,Blues has remained in the background. With our second album,it feels like we are going to be able to reach out to a larger audience,” says Rudy Wallang,guitarist and vocalist of Soulmate,who along with vocalist Tipriti Kharbangar form the core of the band.

Moving On,which is being released by Blue Frog record label,is a compilation of all emotions under one umbrella,says Wallang. “We have evolved as a band over the years with many live shows and it shows in the album. The song content is different — it is about moving on in life as well as our own journey of moving on as a band. It is about feelings and more,” he adds.

Wallang has penned the lyrics of all the 12 tracks and decided that the overall sound should be kept raw and live. The album also begins and ends with a short instrumental peace prayer. “It’s all about life,” he says.

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The gap between the album releases was due to the constant travelling and performances across the country and overseas,Wallang explains. At the International Blues Challenge in Memphis,for instance,Soulmate performed alongside 150 musicians from across the globe and stunned the international arena by making it to the semi-finals. In January 2010,the band will take the Challenge once again. “Abroad,people don’t expect a Blues band from India because they think that India is only about the sitar,tabla and Ravi Shankar. Our act was an eye-opener to them,especially since we were as strong as any other contender,” says Wallang,with a smile.

“And though we were just happy being there as it was our first such outing,we are more confident and know exactly what we need to do this time.” Until then,the band is busy touring across Mumbai,Delhi,Hyderabad and Pune to promote their album.

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First published on: 11-06-2009 at 01:37:10 am

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